When I wrote my “journalist’s take” on GamerGate a month or so back, my main point was that many games writers for sites like Kotaku and Polygon are just plain bad at their jobs; I didn’t think they were necessarily unethical, no matter what many gamers were saying. Since then, lots of new information has come to light and I’ve changed my mind about that: many of these people are seriously unethical. In a way, it’s not even their fault, since they’ve apparently never been held to journalistic standards before and thus don’t really understand what they’re doing wrong, but going into that is probably best saved for another day. Continue reading Do Video Game Reviews Matter?
Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about how we need to have a discussion about gender in gaming:* how men and women are portrayed, and why that might matter. It’s a nice idea, but frankly, I haven’t been seeing much discussion; I’ve been seeing multiple opposing camps that talk past each other (when not going for each other’s throats outright). Maybe I’ve just been hanging out in all the wrong places online, but if thoughtful, meaningful discussion on this topic is taking place, I haven’t been lucky enough to run across it.**
So my plan here, with this series of posts, is to attempt to have that discussion…or at least a small part of it. I don’t want it to be adversarial; there’s no “versus” anywhere. For what it’s worth, I’m also coming into it with an open mind, because I have to; I honestly don’t know yet the full extent of the differences between male and female portrayals in games as a whole, why those differences exist, how much they matter (and to whom), and what any of this means, if anything, the moment we turn off the game. One of my hopes in writing this is that I can puzzle out answers to some of those questions for myself. Continue reading Gender in Gaming 1: What Do We Want to See?
Yesterday, Jason Schreier of Kotaku tweeted the following:
Nobody at Kotaku has ever claimed or will ever claim to be objective. “Objectivity” is a silly thing to strive for.
I would link to the original tweet, but I can’t seem to find it; I don’t know if he deleted it, or I just fail at Twitter today. Nevertheless, the tweet sparked some discussion on the value of objectivity in journalism in general.
To be fair to Schreier, he’s right that no one can ever truly be objective; we all have our biases, no matter how we try to minimize them. However, to go so far as to claim that striving for objectivity is “silly,” well…I have some real problems with that. Continue reading Why Striving for Objectivity in Journalism is Good
I can already sense the irritation from the #GamerGate tag on Twitter. “Why are you mentioning ZQ? It’s not about ZQ! Stop bringing up ZQ!” I know, guys. I see your point, believe me I do; I wouldn’t be going down this road if I didn’t think it was important.
But if you will, indulge me in a little free-writing exercise. Let’s say that about a month ago, a scandal broke about a male game developer named Zach Quest. Continue reading GamerGate: The Zach Quest Story
Let’s have one more post about people being wrong on the internet, then I promise I’ll get back to drawing blue-haired anime characters, which is probably a better use of everyone’s time.
I really thought I was done with the whole “Women Against Feminism” subject for now, but this piece from The Daily Beast, by Emily Shire, demonstrates the way feminists will completely abandon their own supposed ideology in the zeal to defend their supposed ideology. It also has the advantage of being typical of most of the response pieces to WAF that I’ve encountered, so I can tackle a lot of faulty arguments that are appearing all over the place at once.
A few days ago, this Gawker piece proposed the elegant solution of moving Israel from its current location to Germany. Now some readers took umbrage that this was a shockingly daft thing to say, but I disagree; writer Hamilton Nolan’s sole problem is that he didn’t go far enough. We don’t want Israel in another country, where the current inhabitants of said country will likely get pissed off and start bombing it from different angles; we want Israel somewhere really far away, where we don’t have to worry about it. Somewhere like the moon. Continue reading Let’s Put Israel On The Moon
Watching the first episode of the new Sailor Moon, I wonder if it’s possible to have too much reverence for the source material. As promised, Crystal is sticking much closer to Naoko Takeuchi’s manga than the original anime, but as I watched this episode, I found myself wondering if that’s really a good thing. Continue reading On Sailor Moon Crystal
I’ve never felt comfortable calling myself a feminist; I know some feminists would say that’s because I’ve been programmed to please the patriarchy and I don’t want to suffer the consequences of speaking out for what’s right, but just for the sake of this post, let’s assume it could be something other than that. I mean, hey, maybe I am brainwashed by the patriarchy and there’s simply no hope for me, but I think we can entertain the possibility that maybe there’s something else going on here.
Most regular anime viewers who keep up with currently airing shows seem to agree that Gargantia is one of the better offerings this season, but many think it has too much fanservice. The character designs were done by a hentai (or erotic, for those of you new to this whole thing) artist, and all the females have this weird thing going on where they seem to constantly be blushing. Then there was the unfortunate need for a swimsuit episode on a show where most of the characters run around half-naked to begin with.
I would tend to agree that the show would be improved if it dialed down the fanservice in general, but episode 6 made me wonder: was the belly-dancing scene really fanservice at all? I don’t think so, and I think that goes to show that the frequency of quasi-exploitative nudity, in the form of fanservice, has so thoroughly annoyed us that we have no tolerance left for sexual content that actually serves a purpose. Continue reading Gargantia 6, Or When Is Fanservice Not Fanservice?